Monster Stew

Monster Stew

When  I saw the BotW recipe for Monster Stew I couldn’t imagine how I was going to pull it off.  Meat, seafood, flour, milk?  How on earth are you supposed to combine those together to make, not only something edible, but a stew?  So I just went with it – totally making this up as I went along.  It may not be the first recipe I’ve ever made up from scratch, but it is the first recipe I’ve dared share with people.  So hopefully you all like it as much as I do… I’ll be super embarrassed if not!

Also, no scary story today… I couldn’t get it quite right.  I’ll keep working and maybe I’ll post it a little later.  But Happy Halloween anyway, right!?

Monster Stew

time and difficulty

Let’s start with the beef.  This’ll take about an hour to cook down, and the entire recipe will take about 2 hours, so give yourself plenty of time before you plan to eat.  Otherwise you’ll be starving come 9 pm and you’ll order take out just because you don’t want to wait till it’s ready.

Cut the beef into 1 inch cubes.  Add oil to the bottom of a heavy pot – as usual, I prefer my cast iron – and turn it on medium.  When the oil is hot add the beef and garlic salt and stir until the meat is browned on all sides.  Then add 4 cups of beef broth, wait for it to come to a boil, turn it down to a simmer, put the lid on, and step away for an hour.  I’d recommend checking it every half hour to make sure the liquid isn’t boiling off too quickly.  If it looks like it needs more liquid you can add more beef broth or water.

While the meat is cooking cut the carrots, onions, and peppers into bite size pieces.  Also slice the Andouille sausage into bite size pieces and pull the tails off the shrimp.  It’s pretty easy – I talk about it in my Seafood Fried Rice post.  But here’s a quick recap: Properly thaw the shrimp.  Then place the shrimp on a cutting board, lay your knife on the tail, and gently pull the shrimp away from the tail.  It should just slip right out.  Easy peasy.

add rice

When your beef has been stewing about an hour add the remaining beef broth and the rice.  We are deviating slightly from the photos.  After eating the stew it was determined (by me) that the rice takes way too long to cook and the shrimp and veggies are all overdone by the time the rice is done.  I think this is inherent to the thick grain nature of the forbidden rice, which brings such a delightful color, but really takes a long time to cook.  So instead, add the rice and broth to the beef and bring back to a simmer.  Place the lid on and leave it alone until we add everything else.  This will allow the rice to cook properly.  A word of advice – if you’re using white rice, you probably need to add the rice and veggies/shrimp at the same time.  If you’re cooking with brown rice, I’d recommend adding them early, like the forbidden rice.

We want to add the shrimp/veggie/sausage mixture in at about 15 minutes remaining in rice cooking time.  So when the rice has been cooking for about 10 minutes heat another pan/skillet with the remaining oil until it’s hot.  Add the sausage, shrimp, and creole seasoning and stir until the shrimp are just barely turning pink.  At this point add all the veggies, stir them around until everything is shiny, and pour the entire thing into the soup pot.  Stir it around to mix the creole seasonings in and cover again, letting it simmer until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes more.

close up of stew

Serve and enjoy this creepy, purplish black masterpiece!

Link’s Monster Stew recipe:

    • Any Meat
    • Any Seafood
    • Monster Extract

Monster Stew

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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Southern-style beef and seafood stew with forbidden rice

Ingredients

  • 1 pound rump or chuck roast
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, thawed and deveined
  • 15-20 inches of Andouille sausage (about 3 links)
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • another 4 cups beef stock and water in case your liquid boils off too quickly
  • 5 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons Creole seasoning

Directions


1. Cut the beef into 1 inch cubes.
2. Add 3 tablespoons of oil to the bottom of a heavy pot and heat on medium.
3. When the oil is hot add the beef, salt pepper, and garlic salt and stir until the meat is browned on all sides.
4. Add 4 cups of beef broth and allow to come to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. I recommend checking it every half hour to make sure the liquid isn’t boiling off too quickly.  If it looks like it needs more liquid you can add more beef broth or water.
5. Cut the carrots, onions, and peppers into bite size pieces. Slice the Andouille sausage.
6. Pull the tails off the shrimp. To do this, properly thaw the shrimp. Place the shrimp on a cutting board, lay your knife on the tail, and gently pull the shrimp away from the tail. It should slip right out.
7. When your beef has been stewing about an hour add the remaining beef broth and the rice and bring back to a simmer.  Place the lid on and allow to cook for 15 minutes. A note: if you’re using white rice, add the rice and veggies/shrimp at the same time as the cooking time is less for white rice.
8. Add the shrimp/veggie/sausage mixture in at about 15 minutes remaining in rice cooking time. So when the rice has been cooking for about 10 minutes heat another pan/skillet with the remaining oil until it’s hot.  Add the sausage, shrimp, and creole seasoning and stir until the shrimp are just barely turning pink.
9. Add all the veggies, stir them around until everything is shiny, and pour the entire thing into the soup pot.
10. Stir the stew to mix the creole seasonings in and cover, letting it simmer until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes more.
11. Serve and enjoy this creepy, purplish black masterpiece!

Prime Meat Stew

Prime Meat Stew

I realize I totally fell off the goal train last month.  I’m sorry for not writing as many posts as I claimed I would.  I got pretty caught up in the goal I was focusing on for February and sort of ignored EVERYTHING else.  Not good, I know, but at least hopefully understandable?  But it’s okay because this month is focusing on my social goal a.k.a. focusing here!  YAY!  I’m working on getting a backlog of recipes (for when I don’t have time to post), organizing my thankful recipes (for the upcoming months), and writing a couple of thoughts posts.  I’m also working on being better about reading on commenting on all of your wonderful blogs.  I know that community is the thing I struggle most with… and for that I am sorry!  You guys are all so great to be here and I want to be there for you, too.

One more thing I’m working on for this month?  Brainstorming a way to get videos to you all so you can follow along with me and learn some new skills.  After my poll, where a Twitch stream was the overwhelming favorite, I feel like I actually do want to help everyone up their cooking game.  This isn’t about making it pretty or cutting out vital pieces to make a succinct video.  It’s about teaching you the techniques I use to help the people who keep commenting “they can’t cook” feel like they can.  Because trust me, if my self-taught self can do this, so can you!

Oh! And one last thing before we get one with it.  You guys are the best.

Prime Meat Stewdifficulty and time

One of my favorite things about these BotW recipe’s is trying to take some really strange additions to normal meals and make them into a reality.  This recipe is no exception.  Why on earth would you add wheat to a stew?  And how can I make a beef stew with something like milk?  It’s just weird, people.  Weird.  But that’s what makes it fun!  So get ready for a surprisingly delicious recipe. P.S. this recipe makes a lot.  I like having stew for leftovers for days.  If you don’t, you’ll want to scale it back.

ingredients photo for prime meat stew

This recipe started when I accidentally purchased the most expensive roast of my life.  Here’s how it went.

Me: Do you have chuck roast in your Prime beef?

Butcher: Nope.  We have rib roast, though.  Would you like that?

Me, super naively: Sure!  Is that like a regular roast?

Butcher: Yep.

Me: Let’s do it.

Cut to him handing me the 2 pound package of roast.

Me: *Checks price on package.  Price says $45.00* Oh.

So, while the beef was definitely insanely delicious, I don’t recommend doing what I did.  However, with the information we learned about the different levels of quality with beef in this Salt Grilled Prime Meat recipe, I knew I needed prime… Do I recommend using it to you readers?  Only if you have a lot of money you like to very quickly eat away.  Will I ever do this again?  Well, it’s a bit too rich for my bank account.  But it was amazing.  So what should you use instead?  Any rump, chuck, or stew roast will do nicely.  That’s what I usually use and it turns out like a dream.

So now that we’ve got the “Prime” out of the way we needed to figure out how to add those strange Breath of the Wild ingredients.  The first one: Tabantha Wheat.  It feels like a bit of a cheat but I simply dredged my meat in flour before searing it.  Have you ever had a stew where the meat breaks up into tiny little pieces because it’s perfectly braised?  Annoying because you can’t get a full piece of meat, but delicious, right?  Well, dredging prevents it from breaking up into tiny pieces.  It gives the meat a bit of a crust to stew in and holds it together until you decide to chew, leaving you with the perfect, falling apart bite.  So let’s start with cutting the roast into cubes, about an inch squared.  Then add flour, salt, and pepper to the cubes and roll them around to completely coat each one.  It’s pretty easy.  You can totally do this.

Add the oil to the bottom of a heavy-bottom pan.  I used a pot because I was silly.  A pan works just as well.  As I’ve mentioned in… pretty much all of my previous posts, I love cast iron and use it almost exclusively for pans.  But a regular pan will work just fine as long as it can handle high heat and then sustained low heat… so, like, a regular pan with a lid.  Heat the oil on medium high and, once it’s hot, starting adding the dredged meat.

dredged meat to pan

Don’t add it all together.  We really need to shake off the excess flour, because excess flour sticks to the bottom and makes it even more of a mess to clean than it already will be. Oh!  By the way, this will be a mess to clean.  So grab a handful of meat, shake it to remove excess flour, add it to the pan, queue to 3rd grade boys laughing hysterically.  Continue doing this until all the meat is added.  Then stir continuously with a plastic or wood (never metal) spatula until all the beef is browned and beautiful.

add liquid and scrape to remove fond

During this process you will get a brown crust sticking to the bottom of the pan.  That’s totally normal.  It’s called a fond (French for “bottom”) and provides some of the best flavor to any sauteed or braised meat.  If you stirred continuously and scraped the bottom of the pan often, like you should have, the fond won’t be a thick layer.  If you didn’t… like me… you’ll get stuck with a thick fond, which is harder to handle.  The way to scrape up this delicious flavor and add it to the stew is to deglaze the pan.  It’s easy.  The next step has us adding beef broth to the pan to braise the meat for an hour.  To deglaze, simply add a few tablespoons only at a time.  When you do that it sizzles and creates steam.  While it’s sizzling scrape the bottom of the pan.  The fond will scrape up and leave you with some nice flavor.  If the liquid gets soaked up before you’re done scraping just add a little more, and, while it sizzles, scrape the rest.  If you have a thick layer it’ll more difficult (maybe even impossible) to scrape it all up.  That’s fine.  It just makes clean up harder.  If you have a thin layer it’ll be a piece of cake.

add liquid to browned meat

Once the fond is scraped and removed from the pan add 2-3 cups of broth, until the meat is barely covered, and bring to a boil.  Once it’s boiling, lower the heat to a rolling simmer, cover, and allow to simmer for an hour.  During this hour make sure you check at least every 10 minutes to stir the meat (so it doesn’t stick and burn) and to make sure all the broth hasn’t boiled off.  If it’s getting low, simply add more.

While the meat is cooking cut up the veggies.  We just want to dice the carrots, onion, and celery into large, bite size pieces, like I have you do in my Veggie Cream Soup.  If you’re using fresh herbs strip them from the stalks and mince.  Again, let’s not belabor something I’ve already taught you so check out the Veggie Cream Soup if you want to remember how.  I don’t dice up the potatoes until the very end because potatoes exposed to oxygen will turn black (an oxidation of the starchy liquid, for those science nerds out there).  If you do want to dice the potatoes now simply place them in a bowl and cover them entirely with water.  It’ll act as a barrier to the oxygen so they shouldn’t go black.

making a roux

When the hour is almost up let’s move on to how I added milk to this recipe.  I’ve never, in my life, added milk to a beef stew.  It was a puzzle worthy of being it’s own shrine (though not dungeon).  So I turned to an old-fashioned roux.  But instead of using a roux to thicken the stew with broth (which is the normal route, for heaven’s sake, Link) we are going to use a little milk and then finish it up with broth.  Complicated, but necessary to include that odd ingredient.

I feel like I mention it so often you don’t need the link, but for instructions on how to make a roux, check it out in Fish Pie.  Heat butter on medium in a heavy-bottom saucepan, add flour a bit at a time once the butter has melted completely, whisk until thickened and bubbly.  Now add the milk all at once and whisk until combined, smooth, and thick.  At this point add 3 cups of beef broth, 1 cup at a time, and whisk until thick and smooth.  Once that mixture is ready dump all the beef and remaining liquid from your meat into the sauce.  Be careful.  Since everything is hot you don’t want to get splashed and burned.  Add the vegetables, herbs, and more salt and pepper to taste.  Add another cup of beef broth and stir until homogeneous.  Bring liquid to a boil and then lower to a gentle simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and cooked through.  Serve and be delighted!  P.S. this recipe goes really well with Becky’s Rolls.

close up

Link’s Prime Meat Stew

    • Rock Salt
    • Hylian Rice
    • Hearty Blueshell Snail or any Porgy

Prime Meat Stew

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Roast beef stew with carrots, celery, and potatoes


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chuck, rump, or other stew roast
  • 6 celery stalks
  • 5 medium carrots
  • 4 medium potatoes, any variety
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano or 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme, or 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1 medium onion
  • 8-10 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour, plus 3-4 tablespoons for dredging
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cut the roast into 1 inch square cubes
  2. Add the 3-4 tablspoons dredging flour, about 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the cubes and roll them around to completely coat each one.
  3. Add oil to the bottom of a heavy-bottom pan. Heat the oil on medium high.
  4. Add the dredged meat, one handful at a time, first shaking off the excess flour. Continue until all meat has been added.
  5. Stir continuously with a plastic or wood spatula until all the beef is browned.
  6. Remove the fond by adding 2-3 tablespoons beef broth to the pan and remove the fond by scraping. Repeat until all the fond has been removed.
  7. Add 2-3 cups of water, until the beef is barely covered, and bring to a boil.  Once it’s boiling, lower the heat to a rolling simmer, cover, and allow to simmer for an hour.  During this hour make sure you check at least every 10 minutes to stir the meat. If the broth level is getting low simply add more.
  8. While the meat is cooking cut up the carrots, onion, and celery into large, bite-sized pieces. If you’re using fresh herbs strip them from the stalks and mince. Dice the potatoes when the meat has stewed for nearly the entire hour to prevent oxidation.
  9. Heat, on medium, a large 6-7 quart heavy-bottom dutch oven or pot. Add the butter.
  10. Once the butter is melted and bubbling, add half the flour and whisk continuously until it’s completely incorporated and thick. Add the remainder of the flour and repeat until combined and bubbling slightly.
  11. Add the milk to the flour mixture and stir until homogeneous and thickened. Add 3 cups of beef broth, 1 cup at a time, and whisk until thick and smooth between each addition.
  12. Once the sauce is ready add all the meat and the braising liquid to the sauce. Stir until combined.
  13. Add the vegetables, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste to the stew and stir to combine. If there isn’t enough liquid to cover the vegetables add the remainder of the broth and stir until combined.
  14. Bring stew to a boil and lower to a gentle simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and cooked through.  Serve and be delighted!

Veggies Cream Soup and New Year Resolutions

Veggies Cream Soup and New Year Resolutions

I’m back!  But this time I’m not just attempting to be back because I’ve made a goal/new year resolution to get back into this.  I’ve never really been a resolutions kind of girl.  I’ve always had the opinion that if you have a goal then start now, don’t wait for the new year and risk losing momentum before you’ve even started!  But this year (mostly because of timing, partly because of my intense need to organize everything perfectly to fit in time grids) I’ve decided to start my very own set of resolutions.

One of my best friends from high school started making goals in sets of 4 and I think it’s incredibly clever to do it this way!  It gives you enough to make changes in every aspect of your life, but not so much that you give up.  They are goals in mental (i.e. knowledge), spiritual, physical, and social health.  So what are my goals, you ask?  They are:

Mental/Wisdom: Master all the Tartine and Tartine No. 3 bread recipes

Spiritual: Actually, I don’t really want to share this here, as it’s pretty personal and would take a very long time to explain.  But suffice it to say that I have one!

Physical: The proverbial “Get Healthy”, but I actually have a plan for how to do this, so it’s not just a plea in the dark

And last but not least, Social, the reason I’m boring you with all of this: My goal is to improve my blog and my community here by being more regular in recipes, in the quality of my work, and being committed to the schedule I’m about to propose.  They always say you’re more apt to accomplish goals if you tell people what they are so this is me requesting that you hold me accountable!  The new sort-of-schedule is going to be:

A new recipe each week

One “Thankful” recipe per month

One Gaming Thoughts post per month

And, potentially, if I’m able to keep all those other posts regular, one collaboration per quarter.

Yeah, it doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s a schedule I think I can stick to and a schedule I feel comfortable making a commitment to.  Also, there will be an element of surprise to it all, since I’m not specifying posting days this time!  Let’s see if that works and if it does maybe I’ll go back to specific days…  So hopefully you guys can help me stick this goal through and I hope this will produce a better blog for you to give your limited time to and a better chance for me to be a part of your community!

And now, after all that, your recipe.

Veggie Cream SoupHeader and Meter

ingredients photo

Lets start with stripping the herbs and cutting up all the veggies.  When you’re using fresh herbs they need to be taken off the stems.  This can seem incredibly daunting but i promise, it’s actually not that bad.  If you’re using dried herbs, just skip this step and move on!  Start by washing (obviously) and shaking dry the herbs as much as you can.  Place the edge of your knife against the herb stem below the leaves, tight, but not cutting through.  Once you’re in place simply pull the stem and drag the leaves along the blade of the knife.  Don’t move the knife, just the stem.  The leaves will strip off and the stem will pull through!  Easy peasy!  Any more questions, just watch this video:

Strip the herbs

Next, we cut the vegetables.  Just slice and dice them into bite-size chunks, larger or smaller depending on your preferences.  I prefer large chunks.  I feel like you get a better flavor from them!

Once everything is prepped add a tiny bit of butter (or oil) to a pan with some height.  We are going to be simmering in it later, so we want to make sure there’s enough room for the liquid.  Start by frying the onion until it’s tender and opaque.  Then add all the fresh veggies and saute for about a minute or two, just until they are all shiny.  And guys, I know my photos have the zucchini added at this step.  My advice, don’t follow the photos!  While it was easy, it made the zucchini a little overcooked, which is not what we’re going for.  We’ll add it later.  Promise.

Add broth to the veggies

Once everything is nice and shiny add the vegetable broth and simmer for about 15 minutes.  We want everything nice and tender before we add it to the sauce!  If you’re using fresh peas and corn (because it’s summer or you’re very lucky) go ahead and add them to the simmering veggies.  If not, I used frozen peas and canned corn.   I like the taste of canned corn better in soup, but you can use frozen if you prefer.  While your fresh veggies are simmering just heat up the peas and corn.  Make sure all the water is drained and set them aside for later.

Next, we make a roux.  We talked about the pitfalls of making a roux when we made Fish Pie, so I won’t go over them in detail again.  Let’s just do the basics.

Melt your butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.  Wait until the butter is completely melted and bubbly.  Once it is, whisk in half the flour.  Once all the flour is incorporated and the mixture starts to melt and become a bit liquidy again add the remaining flour.  Whisk is continually until it starts to melt again.  Whisk constantly for 2 minutes until your roux reaches the blond stage.

Once your roux is ready we start slowly adding the milk.  Add about half the milk at a time.  The roux may ball up on itself when you do but just keep whisking and it’ll sort itself out!  Whisk until the mixture is homogeneous and slightly thick.  Add the remaining milk and repeat.  If the mixture is too thick you may have added too much flour.  Add regular milk until it reaches a gravy-like consistency.

Once your sauce is ready simply add all the veggies (including the zucchini, peas, and corn at this point!), herbs, and remaining broth to the sauce, stir until well combined, and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors and spices to combine!  If you skip this part the herbs won’t have done their job and it’ll be a bit bland.  Be patient.  It’ll be worth it!

close up of stew

P.S. I don’t recommend adding a raw carrot at the end… The price we pay for matching photos, right?

Link’s Veggie Cream Soup

    • Fresh Milk
    • Rock Salt
    • Any Carrot or Pumpkin

Veggie Cream Soup

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
  • Print

Vegetables in a thick, creamy soup


Ingredients

  • 3-4 medium carrots
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 15 oz can of corn
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh thyme (or 3/4 tablespoon dried thyme)
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh oregano (or 3/4 tablespoon dried oregano)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives (or 1/2 tablespoon dried chives)
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 cups vegetable broth

Directions

  1. If using fresh herbs, strip the oregano and thyme from their stalks and finely dice the chives. Set aside.
  2. Slice the carrots and zucchini into large, bite-sized pieces. Remove the stalk and leaves of the cauliflower and chop into large bite-sized pieces. Dice the onion.
  3. Add a small amount of oil or butter to a pan and heat on medium until the fat is hot. Add the onion and cook until translucent and tender. Add the cauliflower and carrots and saute until shiny. Add all the vegetable broth and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. While the vegetables are simmering thaw the peas and drain the corn and peas. Set aside.
  5. Begin the roux by melting the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. When the butter is completely melted and bubbling whisk in half the flour.  Whisk continually until all the flour is incorporated and the mixture starts to melt and become a bit liquidy again. Add the remaining flour and repeat. Once all the flour is incorporated whisk constantly for 2 minutes until your roux reaches the blond stage.
  6. Slowly add half the milk and whisk until the mixture is thick.  Add the remaining milk and whisk until the mixture has thickened to a gravy-like consistency.
  7. Add all the simmering vegetables and broth, corn, peas, zucchini, herbs, salt, and pepper to the sauce and stir until well combined. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors and spices to combine.